Saturday, 31 October 2020
The Classic Pizza Company at Orleton Court Farm in Worcestershire serving up delicious pizzas paired with craft beers brewed onsite with home-grown hops. This illustration took probably the longest time I have ever spent on an artwork in terms of production, not actual drawing time. I have been dipping in and out of it over several months, eager to work on it but somehow finding it hard to concentrate on the detail and apprehensive of what direction it was going to take. I am fairly happy with the result, though I had considered redoing it to make a few improvements.
Monday, 19 October 2020
Sunday, 11 October 2020
Have done very little in the way of creating pictures for several months now. I spent quite a while concentrating on my writing and then got buried in decorating the house. There are a couple of picture ideas I want to work on but they will be time consuming and I am finding it hard to get motivated to start them. I began one, then decided to have a fall whilst decorating and bruised my ribs badly on the back of the sofa. In an attempt to do something creative whilst recovering I drew the above mainly as a playful doodling exercise to see what would appear.
Monday, 31 August 2020
Sunday, 30 August 2020
Sketches drawn over a few hours in Hitchin yesterday. The basic line work was created with a fountain pen and then I added the watercolour washes and some bolder ink lines at home to enhance the images.
Last year, fields of maize were harvested for biomass near Hitchin and the chopped maize stored in long sealed bags at the field edge (at a guess about 15ft wide and well over 100ft + long - like an enormous sausage). Passed the site today and saw this machine, a Ropa Euro Maus, waiting to unload the bag into a large articulated lorry. Unfortunately, I didn't see it in action because the lorry it was loading had got stuck in mud. After a few attempts of using a JCB telehandler to push it free, the lorry had to empty out its load (walking floor, not a tipper) until it was light enough to be pulled out using the JCB and a heavy chain. The lorry then drove off, empty.
I had only ever seen machines like this on YouTube used to load sugarbeet from stockpiles in fields into lorries - with a different header. I decided to adjust the photo I took and make it into a rather more interesting illustration on my iPad.
Sunday, 23 August 2020
Sunday, 19 July 2020
Sketch drawn whilst sitting outside The Cog Cafe in Tring. I was pleased with this as I had a comfy seat and various nibbles to keep me going. There weren't many places to sit and watch people so this was ideal. People didn't stop and stand much so I had to add the characters afterwards. Could have added more but didn't want to take too much advantage of my perch. There was no direct sunlight which was good as I would have had the sun in my eyes which would not have been much fun.
Wednesday, 15 July 2020
The walled garden at The Whittern in Herefordshire where we stayed last week. The evening sunshine, when we had it, was wonderful and produced some gorgeous greens when the beech hedges were backlit. I captured the effect over a couple of evenings. I was just in time as the hedges were trimmed the day after I finished this.
Tuesday, 14 July 2020
Three sketches made near Titley in Herefordshire whilst on a recent walk: a large beech tree growing in an old quarry, a sunken road leading down to the River Arrow and an old barn. These worked well - I had better lighting (no bright sunshine) and comfortable places in which to perch.
Sunday, 12 July 2020
Saturday, 11 July 2020
Two quick sketches of the River Teme at Shelsley Beauchamp in Worcestershire. In the first one I wanted to capture the pink flowers of himalayan balsam. I would have liked to have zoomed in on the flowers but didn’t have the will power to do so. The bank of the river was very steep here and I couldn’t easily access the plants at close range. The black and white picture is the view from the bridge over to the orchards and hills. I could have done it in colour but I only had a few minutes spare and decided to work in greyscale instead.
Thursday, 2 July 2020
Doodling on the iPad is wonderful when something emerges out of all the rubbish scribbly stuff I do that gets deleted time and time again. Started with a few flowing lines which then developed into hills and the rest followed.
Sunday, 21 June 2020
Sunday, 14 June 2020
Saturday, 6 June 2020
It has taken a good week or so to decided how to illustrate a wonderful bloom of honeysuckle found whilst on a bike ride. This has worked, though it felt a rather complicated task and I had to simplify it as I wanted to move on.
Sunday, 31 May 2020
The garden is looking good this year, although it is very dry. As usual, the hops are the fastest growing plants and are already a good six feet high. Vegetables are slowly getting going. I always say the garden is a late garden, I put it down to the conifers in neighbouring gardens. A lorry load of woodchip from some tree cutting nearby has enabled me to resurface the paths and have little left over (or rather, a lot). I've decided to let some rough edges and weeds exist this year to increase the biodiversity. Just occasionally I see some interesting insects and want to see what I can attract by leaving nature to do what it does best.
Tuesday, 26 May 2020
Monday, 25 May 2020
This is a sketch of woodland near Knebworth today. A hot day with bright sunshine. The colours of the leaves were so vivid with the sunlight behind them. Several of my recent pictures have been experiments in using lighting effects to a greater extent. I have been inspired by many images on Instagram and I now trying to nudge my illustrations up a level.
Sunday, 24 May 2020
This picture was meant to be a couple having afternoon tea in a garden. However, I got stuck planning the illustration and deciding how to draw the characters. After spending a week or so doodling ideas I then decided to draw this. (Affinity Designer on iPad)
Sunday, 10 May 2020
The first radishes picked from the garden. For once, I knew exactly where I wanted to go with this sketch and it worked well. Perhaps I will do more like this as I am not out and about as much at the moment along with everyone else. I am missing going out and sketching in cafes so enjoying a few challenges attempting different illustration styles.
Thursday, 7 May 2020
I wanted to do more of of an illustration as I hadn't used Affinity Designer for a while. I didn't really know where I was going with it and vector work seems much slower to do on the iPad, though there are advantages and it forces me to work in a different way. Not sure where the idea came from, I think it was a doodle I did one day.
Saturday, 2 May 2020
Tuesday, 28 April 2020
Sunday, 26 April 2020
I am enjoying the results of doing some illustrations like this, though I don't really enjoy the process of doing them. This took a while to do, according to my iPad it took 14 hours and 28 minutes. I tend to get distracted easily so I hid myself in the summerhouse today to finish it off. 90% pleased with the result.
Wednesday, 22 April 2020
I am doing a few sketches as part of a challenge set by Bedfordshire Urban Sketchers group, of which I am part. This was a very, very quick ink and watercolour sketch made on our driveway on the theme of 'Street View'. I will post some of the better drawings here, others are on instagram #matthewslaterart.
Wednesday, 8 April 2020
This was a pleasant challenge. I was inspired by stuff like this on Instagram and thought I would have a go. I am 95% pleased with it, not too happy with the figure but I had had enough of it after quite a few hours of stopping and starting and not being too sure how it would turn out.
As I have currently had a little more time on my hands due to having to work from home and take some holiday, I have been able to make a few small changes to the garden. Fortunately, I bought all my seeds and compost a day or so before the garden centres all closed. I have restructured the pathway through the vegetable patch to form two paths and created a new pergola from pieces of woods I had been saving for a rainy day. Fortunately, the weather has been superb and after three or so days of hard work I am exhausted - what with taking up, pressure washing and relaying paving slabs; taking up turf, creating a path, redoing all the edging, reformating a flower bed, building the pergola, hand sieving my compost heap and loads of other fiddly jobs I am now ready to start sowing seeds. One of my neighbours resprayed nearly all his wooden fence panels and did our at the same time. Which was nice.
Monday, 30 March 2020
It might be a while until I see some hills like this again so I thought I would draw some. Thinking about all the people in Worcestershire around Ludlow/Tenbury Wells who suffered from flooding and now have to cope with the lockdown.
Thursday, 26 March 2020
Friday, 20 March 2020
Snowdrops, ivy and spotted deadnettle. I took a photograph of snowdrops in a churchyard a few weeks ago. This was used a base from which to work up this illustration. It has taken a while as I kept dipping in and out of it during lunch breaks, evenings and other odd moments.
Friday, 13 March 2020
The Pavilion at Wrest Park. A warm day, so very comfortable sketching outdoors. Bizarrely, my iPad run out of battery before I could finish it so had to add final few bits of undergrowth at home. Did a hard reset and it seems to be ok now.
Sunday, 8 March 2020
Three sketches drawn in Bedford yesterday: La Piazza outdoor cafe and the Coffee with Art cafe. Drawn in-situ on the iPad. They were very quick and I was pleased with the results. I don’t find it easy to resolve detail on the small screen when working at speed as I try not to keep zooming in and out. Thus the line work is a bit scrappy but it does add more life to the drawing. One day I might get the larger iPad...
Sunday, 1 March 2020
The Dahlia Cafe at Ayletts Nurseries near St. Albans - added the figures in when I got home to liven it up a bit as I ran out of time on location; a bouquet of flowers in our living room (this didn't go quite as well as planned); the footbridge crossing the A1(M) near Water End/ South Mimms (drawn from a photo taken as a skip lorry passed by in the rain); and the Bridleway through Mymmshall Wood with beech trees (drawn in the rain - I could hardly see my iPad screen and had to keep wiping it clear).